Biggest galaxies in the universe were formed in cosmic oceans of cold gas

Using radio telescopes in Australia and the US, an international team of scientists has discovered that the biggest galaxies in the universe develop in cosmic clouds of cold gas. Until now scientists believed that these “supergalaxies” formed from smaller galaxies that grow closer and closer together until they merge, due to gravitational attraction.“In the local universe, we see galaxies merging and we expected to observe that the formation of supergalaxies took place in the same way, in the early (now distant) universe,” said first author Bjorn Emonts, researcher at Centro de Astrobiolog√≠a (CSIC-INTA) in Madrid.

To investigate this, telescopes were pointed towards an embryonic galaxy cluster 10 thousand million light years away, in whose interior the giant Spiderweb galaxy is forming, and the scientists discovered a cloud of very cold gas where the galaxies were merging.This enormous cloud, with some 100 thousand million times the mass of the Sun, is mainly composed of molecular hydrogen, the basic material from which the stars and the galaxies are formed.

Previous studies had discovered the mysterious appearance of thousands of millions of young stars throughout the Spiderweb, and for this reason it is now thought that this supergalaxy condensed directly from the cold gas cloud.Instead of observing the hydrogen directly, the researchers traced carbon monoxide, which is much easier to detect.“It is surprising how cold this gas is, at some 200 degrees below zero Celsius,” said the study’s second author Matthew Lehnert, a researcher at the Astrophysics Institute of Paris.

For the study, the researchers combined the interferometers VLA (Very Large Array) in New Mexico (US) and the ATCA (Australia Telescope Compact Array) in Australia.“Using sensitive observations of carbon monoxide, we show that the Spiderweb galaxy — a massive galaxy in a distant protocluster — is forming from a large reservoir of molecular gas,” said the study published in the journal Science.

Scientists use magnets to recover forgotten short term memories

With a technique that uses magnets to stimulate the brain, it is possible to bring back short-term “forgotten” memories stored in the brain, new research has found. The researchers conducted a series of experiments in which people were asked to remember two items representing different types of information — they used words, faces and directions of motion — because they would be tested on their memories.

When the researchers gave their participants a cue as to the type of question coming — a face, for example, instead of a word — the electrical activity and blood flow in the brain associated with the word memory disappeared. But if a second cue came letting the participant know they would now be asked about that word, the brain activity would jump back up to a level indicating it was the focus of attention.“People have always thought neurons would have to keep firing to hold something in memory. Most models of the brain assume that,” said Brad Postle, Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

“But we’re watching people remember things almost perfectly without showing any of the activity that would come with a neuron firing. The fact that you’re able to bring it back at all in this example proves it’s not gone. It’s just that we can’t see evidence for its active retention in the brain,” Postle said. The researchers were also able to bring the seemingly abandoned items back to mind without cueing their participants.

Using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to apply a focused electromagnetic field to a precise part of the brain involved in storing the word, they could trigger the sort of brain activity representative of focused attention. “We think that memory is there, but not active,” Postle said.“More than just showing us it’s there, the TMS can actually make that memory temporarily active again,” Postle pointed out.

The study — published in the journal Science — suggests a state of memory apart from the spotlight attention of active working memory and the deep storage of more significant things in long-term memory.The findings may have implications for treatment of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, in which patients focus on hallucinations instead of reality, and depression, which seems strongly related to spending an unhealthy amount of time dwelling on negative things.

RSS economic wing SJM seeks probe into Chinese connection of mobile wallet Paytm

Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), on Friday demanded a probe into the alleged “China connection” of the country’s top mobile wallet provider Paytm. “There are reports that Paytm has connection with Chinese firm Alibaba. This is a matter of concern and needs to be probed,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convener of the SJM, told IANS.

Ever since the demonetisation drive, millions of consumers and merchants across the country have been opting for mobile payments via Paytm. The company has added over five million new users since the demonetisation was implemented.

Mahajan said the SJM welcomes the government’s initiative towards creating a cashless society, but expressed concern about a few things. Giving reasons for his concern, Mahajan said, “We strongly suspect that Chinese firms may steal our banking data through such channels and may misuse it.”

The users have to furnish their debit/credit card and bank account numbers while using apps like Paytm. “What is the percentage of foreign investment in Paytm? To what extent the firm’s management is controlled by foreign players? These are a few questions we should have answers of,” he added.

He said that no Indian company should be sharing data with foreign companies and the investment routes should be made very transparent. “We would take up the matter with the finance and commerce ministries,” Mahajan said.He also raised objection over Paytm using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture in its advertisements.

Phillippine government asks Bangladesh to share findings of heist investigation

The Philippine government wants Bangladesh to share the findings of its investigation into how unknown hackers pulled off one of the world’s largest cyber bank heists, to help speed up recovery of the stolen funds.Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who last week met with a Bangladesh delegation, said Manila “strongly recommended” Dhaka share the results of its investigation. He assured the visitors the government was doing it everything it could to find Bangladesh’s missing money.Cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank in February and made off with $81 million via an account at the New York Federal Reserve. That money was transferred to four accounts with false names at one RCBC branch in Manila before vanishing.

“We are pursuing the lawsuits on your behalf as vigorously as we can,” Dominguez was quoted in a statement as telling the delegation.Bangladesh Bank has declined to disclose the findings of its own inquiry, saying it wanted to deny perpetrators knowledge of the investigation.Most of the money was laundered through Philippine casinos. About $15 million recovered from a gaming junket operator has been returned to Bangladesh, with a further $2.7 million frozen.Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who had earlier pledged the stolen money would be returned, cancelled a meeting with the Bangladesh team because of “pressing matters”.

Asked if the findings of the probe would be shared with the Philippines government, Bangladesh’s ambassador in Manila, John Gomes, said: “No one asked us anything yet.”But Philippine central bank deputy governor Nestor Espenilla said Manila had received an assurance from Bangladesh it would provide an “initial update” since the investigation was not yet finished.Bangladesh has said it wanted RCBC, or the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), to compensate it for its losses, but RCBC refuses to pay and has said the Bangladesh central bank was “negligent”.

Bangladesh’s Law Minister Anisul Huq last week said RCBC should shoulder the burden for accepting stolen funds.RCBC was fined a record one billion pesos ($20 million) by the Philippine central bank for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen Bangladesh money through its bank. Huq said paying that fine was tantamount to accepting culpability.An anti-money laundering body last month filed charges against five RCBC officials in connection with the theft.No arrests have been made despite investigations by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol, Bangladesh police and authorities in the Philippines.

Demonetisation: security experts warn that ATMs are easy targets for hackers

At a time when serpentine queues continue to grow outside ATMs across the country following the demonetisation move, a top executive of Intel Security has warned that ATMs in India are susceptible to security breaches.Intel Security, with its McAfee product line, is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company.

In banks, a breach can happen at multiple levels — like at an ATM, data centre, network or through mobile banking. “The ATM today is an easy target for hackers to hit a network,” Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, Intel Security, South Asia, told IANS in an interview.

ATM attacks have affected several countries in the recent past. A hacker group called Cobalt targeted ATMs across Europe last month and remotely attacked the machines using malicious software that manipulated the systems which led the machines to automatically dispense huge amounts of cash.
Banks in India will have to make efforts to ensure that ATMs are protected with multiple levels of authentication and industry-standard encryption, ensuring data security at all points of a transaction.

According to experts, banks need to work towards gradually enabling EMV chip and PIN-enabled card acceptance and processing at ATMs to enhance the safety and security of transactions.“It is time that magnetic-stripe cards issued by banks for ATM transactions are replaced at the earliest. While the affected banks are blocking debit cards to minimise the impact, the already ongoing replacement of mag-stripe cards with EMV chip cards will help the banks and consumers,” Atul Singh, Regional Director-Banking and Transport (India Subcontinent) at the digital security giant Gemalto, told IANS earlier.EMV — which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa — is a global standard for credit cards that uses computer chips to authenticate (and secure) chip-card transactions.

“We have seen a big focus on ATM attacks in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, including India. ATMs in underdeveloped countries are particularly vulnerable as those countries still have old ATM software and are running Windows XP. This makes them the perfect target for an easier score,” US-based cyber security company FireEye said recently.In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently urged people to “embrace e-banking, mobile banking and more such technology”, but Ramamoorthy warned that as mobile banking becomes popular, it will involve greater risks.

“You have to become aware as you become more digitised,” noted Ramamoorthy, adding that mobile has become more of a financial gateway and its implications are huge for the country.Earlier this year, following a malware-related security breach, the State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and YES Bank blocked millions of debit cards that were compromised in one of the biggest data breaches in the financial sector.

“To protect ATMs from cyber attacks in the future, Intel Security has deployed an ‘Embedded App’ control which not only protects ATMs at the site but also the network which it is connected to,” Ramamoorthy said, adding that the app is set for an update in 2017.

BMW to test autonomous vehicles in Munich in an effort to create the “coolest” ride hailing service


BMW will test autonomous vehicles in Munich next year as it seeks to keep up with ride-hailing firms like Uber, which have spent billions on pay-per-use personal transport. The German carmaker will have about 40 vehicles with self-driving functions in Munich’s inner city and then expand the project to other cities, BMW executives said on Friday. “There is a trained test driver behind the wheel of every car,” Klaus Buettner, BMW’s Vice President in charge of Autonomous Driving said.

Uber’s rapid growth has prompted BMW to consider how autonomous vehicles may help them accelerate their own push into pay-per-use transport. Software and technology companies like Lyft, Juno and Uber have shaken up the traditional auto industry business model of selling cars by offering customers an alternative to vehicle ownership through smartphone-based ride-hailing services.

Now traditional car companies are expanding their own ride-hailing schemes, while investing in self-driving technology. “Ride hailing is nothing more than manual autonomous driving,” Tony Douglas, Head of Strategy for BMW’s mobility services said. “Once you dispense with the driver you have a license to print money.”

BMW has already made significant progress expanding into the market for car sharing by introducing pay-by-the-minute services like ReachNow in Seattle, Douglas said. “We had 14,000 people sign up in 4 days, in a market already served by Zipcar, Uber, Lyft and Car2go,” Douglas said. “Someone else spent the money to educate the market and then we came in with a cool product. We will not be the largest, but we can be the coolest,” Douglas said.

MW plans to use not just its expertise making premium vehicles, but also its ability to manufacture, own and manage fleets of premium vehicles. “Uber and Lyft do not operate their own fleets of cars. Owning the fleet means you can make offers that Lyft and others are unable to provide. For example providing car sharing for a specific community only,” BMW’s Chief Executive Harald Krueger said.

EU asks US tech giants to respond faster to tackle online hate speech

U.S. tech giants including Facebook, Twitter, Google’s YouTube and Microsoft will have to act faster to tackle online hate speech or face laws forcing them to do so, the European Commission said on Sunday. The European Union (EU) executive’s warning comes six months after the companies signed up to a voluntary code of conduct to take action in Europe within 24 hours, following rising concerns triggered by the refugee crisis and terror attacks.

This included removing or disabling access to the content if necessary, better cooperation with civil society organizations and the promotion of “counter-narratives” to hate speech. The code of conduct is largely a continuation of efforts that the companies already take to counter hate speech on their websites, such as developing tools for people to report hateful content and training staff to handle such requests.

However, a report commissioned by EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova showed that compliance with the code is far from satisfactory, the commission said. “In practice the companies take longer and do not yet achieve this goal. They only reviewed 40 percent of the recorded cases in less than 24 hours,” a Commission official said. “After 48 hours the figure is more than 80 percent. This shows that the target can realistically be achieved, but this will need much stronger efforts by the IT companies.”

The Commission said it may enact laws to force swifter action. “If Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft want to convince me and the ministers that the non-legislative approach can work, they will have to act quickly and make a strong effort in the coming months,” Jourova told the Financial Times. Her spokesman confirmed the comments.

Jourova’s report showed an uneven pace across the 28-country bloc, with the removal rate of racist posts in Germany and France above 50 percent, but just 11 percent in Austria and 4 percent in Italy. EU justice ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss the report on Thursday. They are also expected to ask the companies to clarify issues including taking down “terrorist propaganda” and helping provide evidence to convict foreign fighters.

Effects of granular privacy controls on Facebook varies according to user expertise: study

Even though the online social platforms are offering several privacy controls to users, it depends on the user how to use them making privacy a debatable issue, a new study has found. According to a new study from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at University of Texas – Dallas, people have different views on the value of privacy controls in managing disclosures and therefore privacy dangers.

“Some people argue that giving users more granular controls mitigates privacy issues because users can effectively limit the recipients of shared content, thereby increasing the secrecy of disclosures,” Huseyin Cavusoglu, Associate Professor of information systems, said. “On the contrary, other people claim that users perceive privacy risks less severely when they have more controls to exercise, and as a result, share more content publicly, thereby increasing the openness of disclosures,” Cavusoglu added.

A team of researchers used data obtained from Facebook to test the relationship between privacy controls and disclosure patterns of Facebook users based on two popular content-sharing activities: Wall posts and private messages. In December 2009, Facebook gave users additional options to manage privacy by introducing granular controls to set access permissions for wall posts on a per-post basis.

The results of the study, which showed the impact of granular privacy controls on the sharing behaviour of the users, said that Facebook users, on average, increased their use of wall posts and decreased their use of private messages in periods after the change in privacy controls. However, different groups of users respond to the new policy in opposite ways, Cavusoglu said.

“What we found is that users who are more privacy conscious started to share more content via wall posts and less content via private messages after the change, possibly because they are the people who are likely to use the enhanced privacy controls and therefore benefit from them. As a result, the openness of their disclosure increased,” he noted. “However, those who are less privacy sensitive prior to the change actually reduced the use of wall posts and increased the use of private messages in periods following the change,” he added.

The study was published in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research.

Twitter says it will refuse to help Trump build a US national registry of Muslims


Of the nine major tech giants, including Facebook, Apple and Google, only Twitter has declined to help if US President-elect Donald Trump seeks to create a national Muslim registry, a media report said. US-based news website the Intercept said it contacted nine of the most prominent firms to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry — an idea recently refloated by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team — and only Twitter said no.

“We contacted nine different firms in the business of technology, broadly defined, with the following question: ‘Would [name of company], if solicited by the Trump administration, sell any goods, services, information, or consulting of any kind to help facilitate the creation of a national Muslim registry, a project which has been floated tentatively by the President-elect’s transition team?’,” the report said.

After two weeks of calls and e-mails, only three companies provided an answer and only one said it would not participate in such a project. Google, Facebook, Apple, IBM, IT giant SRA International and Canada-based Information technology consulting company CGI did not provide any answer to the query. Management consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton declined to comment.

Twitter said “No”, and a link, which states as company policy a prohibition against the use, was shared on the website. The link read: “To be clear: We prohibit developers using the Public APIs and Gnip data products from allowing law enforcement — or any other entity — to use Twitter data for surveillance purposes. Period.” Microsoft returned with an answer saying, “We’re not going to talk about hypotheticals at this point.”

A link to a company blog post states that “we’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but…inclusive culture” and that “it will remain important for those in government and the tech sector to continue to work together to strike a balance that protects privacy and public safety in what remains a dangerous time”.

The Intercept cleared that the story was not written to say that the companies which did not reply to the request for a comment or declined to comment, were tacitly endorsing the Trump agenda in general or a Muslim registry in particular. “Still, it is asking very little of today’s tech companies to prompt them to go on record as unwilling to help create a federal list of Muslims — or so one would very much hope,” the report noted.

Pune-based Deskera claims to be the first GST compliant cloud software provider in India

Reports circulating the web reveal the compulsion to roll out GST by Sep 16, 2017. With businesses gone online, and a trend inclined towards cloud and data analytics, many would look for software services to help build their business function smoothly. Pune-based Deskera is one such service provider. It is a part of the GST network, and claims to be the first GST compliant service provider in India. It has been offering services in Singapore and Malaysia.“The complete structure isn’t out, but we do know it is going to be similar to Singapore and Malaysia. And, since we serve these markets, and with probably a similar structure in India, we can offer GST-compliant enterprise services,” Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera tells us.

Unlike others, Deskera offers full-fledged services, which aren’t limited to only bigger firms. It easily caters to SMEs alike, Dixit tells us. In fact, its the approach of services that sets it apaprt from others. For instance, a sales team wherein members get a commission will require 3-4 different types of software such as CRM to capture sales, software for payroll, ERP to calculate commission and project management. However, Deskera will do it out-of-the-box with one software.

He further tells us that Asian SMEs including Indian are more demanding and less forgiving, and the service providers will have to be very good at their work, to cater to the lot. Asian SMEs may not necessarily buy 4 pieces of software, while American SMEs could be open to the idea.Dixit tells us that cloud adoption in India is going through the roof, and Deskera opened eight office here in the past 7 months. The most recent one was in Jaipur, and he further adds how the tier 32 cities are adopting cloud service, which led it to open the office in Jaipur. Deskera is now trying to reach to its users.

While the government expects GST to unshackle India from red tape and improve the ease of doing business. However, how the industry will take to the new change will get apparent only after the implementation of the law.

Deskera is profitable startup  with 300 employees, and aims to increase the number to 600 by mid of next year. It also aims at doubling its revenue, which is now close to 200 crore.  Deskera Cloud ERP powers more than 3,000 SMEs and businesses globally. Its products are designed to fulfil the business requirements of a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, trading, distribution, engineering, building and construction. It should be noted that Malaysia switched to the GST era in April 2015. And, Deskera has been working with various Government departments and businesses in Singapore and Malaysia in helping them move to the GST based system.

Nissan finally launches the GT-R in India for Rs 1.99 crores

Remember back in Septmeber we told you that the iconic Nissan GT-R is available for pre-booking? Well, the company has now officially begun deliveries and has confirmed a launch price of Rs 1.99 crore (ex-showroom Delhi). It will be sold exclusively through the Nissan dealership in Noida which will also house India’s first Nissan High Performance Centre (NHPC) to take care of the servicing of the new car.

One of the finest production cars from Nissan, the all new GT-R builds up on the legacy of Nissan’s Skyline series. It is powered by a massive 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbocharged handcrafted engine that can produce 552 bhp at 6,800 rpm and 632 Nm of torque. Thanks to this, the car can launch from 0-100 kmph in just 2.8 seconds.India will get the same European spec Premium Edition and will be available in Katsura Orange, Vibrant Red, Pearl Black, Pearl White, Racing Blue, Gun Metallic and Ultimate Silver. The choice of interior trim includes Red, Tan, Ivory & Black.

“The GT-R is a very special car for Nissan and we are delighted to add it to our Indian line-up for the first time in its history. It is the epitome of Nissan’s technology and design, and demonstrates our brand promise of ‘Innovation and Excitement,” Nissan India Operations President Guillaume Sicard said.

The 2017 GT-R was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show back in March. It will be produced at Nissan’s primary plant in Tochigi, Japan, and will be brought to India as a CBU (Completely Built-up Unit).

99 percent counterfeit Apple chargers fail basic safety test: UK Trading Standards Institute

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) investigated into the safety of counterfeit electronics. In an operation, investigators purchased 400 different Apple chargers online, from various suppliers around the world. Out of these 397 failed a basic safety test. CTSI is warning consumers of the dangers of using counterfeit products.“Only buy second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and only buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers,” said Leon Livermore, CTSI chief executive. “It might cost a few pounds more but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one.”

The institute representatives said that criminals around the world are luring gullible consumers into buying cheap electronic products that are known to set houses on fire. Although the CTSI takes measures to remove dangerous products from the market, and disrupt the supply chain of such unsafe goods, apparently their work is just skimming the surface. The National Trading Standards eCrime division is working with fire and rescue services to make home checks and identify dangerous products. The efforts of CTSI are running concurrently with Project Jasper, an initiative to purge counterfeit products from online marketplaces and social media sites.

Apple has identified the problem too, and has filed a $2 million lawsuit against Mobile Star LLC, for making and distributing counterfeit apple accessories. Details of the lawsuit was posted on Macrumors. Apple has found that 90% of the Genuine Apple products listed on Amazon were counterfeit. The listings used official Apple images and branding. The counterfeit products have a high risk of fire, electrical shocks and overheating.

Panasonic may buy ZKW Group, European automotive light maker to accelerate push into auto


Japan’s Panasonic Corp is in talks to buy European automotive light maker ZKW Group, accelerating its push into the automotive electronics market, a person familiar with the matter said. The deal could be worth up to $1 billion and the two companies could reach a basic agreement as early as this month, the Nikkei business daily reported Monday.An acquisition of ZKW would expand Panasonic’s automotive lineup, which currently centers on batteries and navigation systems, as it shifts its focus to corporate clients to escape price competition from lower-margin consumer electronics manufacturers.

“ZKW is among various deals that Panasonic is considering,” said the source, who was not authorized to discuss the matter and asked not to be named. “But no details have been decided and the deal could fall through,” he said.

Panasonic has earmarked 1 trillion yen ($8.80 billion) for strategic investments including mergers and acquisitions for the four years through March 2019. Of that amount, 70 percent has been already completed or allocated for specific deals, the company has said. The possible acquisition comes at a time when rival electronics makers are also pushing into the automotive industry. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd agreed in November to buy Harman International Industries in an $8 billion deal.

Panasonic is targeting annual sales of 2 trillion yen for its automotive business in the year ending in March 2019, up from 1.3 trillion yen in the last financial year that ended in March. Last year Panasonic took a 49 percent stake in Spanish automotive mirror manufacturer Ficosa International and plans to contribute $1.6 billion to Tesla Motors’ $5 billion battery factory.

Zenith, a leading forecaster says that social media ads will hit $50 billion by 2019

The amount of money spent on advertising on social media is set to catch up with newspaper ad revenues by 2020, a leading forecaster said on Monday. The rapid expansion of social media platforms on mobile devices, as well as faster internet connectivity and more sophisticated technology, has triggered a huge shift in the way many people get their news.

Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia, owned by France’s Publicis, predicts global advertising expenditure on social media will account for 20 percent of all internet advertising in 2019, hitting $50 billion and coming in just one percent smaller than newspaper ads. It expects social media to overtake newspapers comfortably by 2020.

Marketers are increasingly directing their spending to social media sites where ads blend into users’ newsfeeds on platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat proving more effective than interruptive banner formats. Zenith’s report forecasts that global advertising expenditure will grow 4.4 percent in 2017, the same rate as in 2016, which it said would be a strong performance given that big events like the Olympic Games, Britain’s EU referendum and the U.S. presidential election boosted advertising this year.Online video advertising is also rapidly growing and set to total $35.4 billion across the world by 2019, fractionally ahead of the amount spent on radio advertising but still far less than television. Global spending on advertising has been stable since 2010 the report showed, although growth has declined in the Middle East and North Africa. It was expected to continue to grow strongly in China and much of Asia.

Tesla hires Microsoft HoloLens Senior Designer Andrew Kim

Tesla has appointed a new Lead Designer, Andrew Kim. Kim used to be a Senior Designer for Microsoft, who has worked on the HoloLens. The hiring comes close on the heels of Tesla acquiring SolarCity, and Kim could be a part of the team designing SolarCity products, according to a report in Slash Gear. The LinkedIn profile of Kim confirms his new position at Tesla.

Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Apart from HoloLens, Kim had worked on the Xbox One S, confidential new products, and the Microsoft design language at Microsoft. Kim has also worked on Chrome UI and Chromebook concepts while interning at Google. Kim has also worked at Cisco and Frog. Kim graduated from the Art Center College of Design in California.In 2014, Kim was included in the Forbes list of 30 under 30, an annual tally of promising young talent. When he was a student, Kim proposed a concept design for re-branding Microsoft, which took the internet by storm. The design was posted on his blog, called Minimally Minimal, and called “The Next Microsoft“. Microsoft got in touch with Kim after he posted the designs, and hired him.

Samsung moves on from Note 7 fiasco but battery affiliate SDI is struggling

In the shadows of Samsung Electronics’ Note 7 smartphone crisis, affiliate Samsung SDI is quietly reassuring anxious clients including Apple Inc that its batteries are safe. But potential new customers may prove harder to convince as Samsung’s biggest in-house parts supplier grapples with the reputational fallout from the Note 7 debacle. Created as a joint venture with Japan’s NEC to make vacuum tubes in 1970, Samsung SDI’s TV and smartphone screens and batteries were key to Samsung Electronics’ rapid growth.

But it now faces a tougher challenge than its biggest customer and shareholder as it looks to add new customers and extend into electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy storage systems. Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, was quick to blame the battery for causing some Note 7 devices to catch fire. It has since widened its investigation into the exact cause of the fires in its near-900,000 won ($780) phones after replacement phones using batteries from China’s Amperex Technology also caught fire. But for Samsung SDI the damage was already done, analysts said.

SDI, the main supplier of Note 7 batteries, has lost around a fifth of its market value since the problem first emerged, and its third-quarter operating loss was more than double that of a year earlier. Shares of Samsung Electronics, however, are little changed over the same period, and a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll on Sunday showed the Note 7 recall has had little impact on the willingness of users in the United States to buy the company’s phones.

“Since the first recall, we’ve had many inquiries from our clients, including Apple, asking whether batteries used in their products are safe,” said a person at SDI who was involved in developing the Note 7 battery. “We are also asking ourselves whether we should have done it (the Note 7 battery) this way, or whether there could have been other ways,” the person said, declining to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Lasting Impact 

SDI has said the battery issue was limited to the Note 7, and it has carried out reliability checks on products with major customers and found no problems. It has set up teams to improve product safety, and allowed customers to check batteries, which, it says, meant temporary shipment delays for a couple of customers. “We put the utmost priority on battery reliability, and will use this opportunity to further enhance customer trust,” Kim Hong-gyeong, SDI’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call with analysts.

Some analysts say the impact could be lasting for SDI. “This will have more of an impact on new customers than on existing customers,” said S.R. Kwon, at Dongbu Securities. “SDI can assure existing customers … but this could be a minus factor for SDI when it tries to attract new customers.”

“The affected (Note 7) battery is totally different to the product we use so the issue doesn’t really impact us,” said an official at one of SDI’s automotive customers. “But we’re not happy,” the person added, declining to say whether that may change its relationship with SDI. SDI, which has around a 25 percent market share in small device batteries according to market research firm B3, is already battling a slowing smartphone market, and its diversification push hasn’t been helped by a failure to win Chinese certification for subsidies on its electric vehicle batteries in the world’s biggest autos market.

Close Ties

Close ties to Samsung Electronics have helped SDI build scale and reputation, and secure orders from the likes of Apple. Close to a third of its revenue in the first half year came from other Samsung companies. For Samsung Electronics, having in-house suppliers helped it beat rivals to cutting-edge technologies – from curved screens to faster chips and higher-density batteries.

But the Note 7 crisis has raised doubts about whether that in-house supply chain can handle the growing strains on capacity as Samsung Electronics transitions from fast-follower to trend-setter. Calling the Note 7 problem “very embarrassing,” a second person at SDI said: “It’s a matter of our capability … We thought we had control (over all aspects of manufacturing), but it turned out there were some aspects we weren’t able to govern.”

SDI had to incorporate new materials and technology to meet Samsung’s request for bigger battery capacity for the Note 7, which increased by a sixth from the previous model, the SDI insiders told Reuters. “We focused on boosting battery capacity, but this could have been disadvantageous to reliability,” said the engineer who worked on the Note 7 battery.

Samsung Electronics said its focus is on looking at all possibilities to find the root cause of the Note 7 problem.

Reliance Jio launch doubles demand of 4G VoLTE devices

Demand for Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) enabled devices has doubled since the launch of Reliance Jio, according to a report in Economic Times. Jio is a VoLTE only network, that only supports handsets with this capability. After the launch, Reliance has partnered with smartphone companies to make available VoLTE enabled devices to consumers.

The demand is more in price sensitive rural areas, as this market associated VoLTE technology with free voice calls. Reliance uses the same band for data and voice, with voice being another service offered over the LTE network. There is more demand in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities as compared to Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Searchers for VoLTE devices have also grown in the budget category oif smartphones.

Analysts expect most devices to support VoLTE going forward. Over a third of the devices available in the market right now are VoLTE devices. Reliance Jio is one of the first Indian operators to adopt and deploy this new technology. Analyst reports confirm that the number of VoLTE devices sold this quarter is twice the number of VoLTE devices sold over the same period last year.

To cater to the section of the market that still prefers to use a feature phone over a smartphone, Reliance Jio may be launching a VoLTE enabled feature phone next year, according to a report in 91mobiles.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge ‘Piano Black’ version leaks in images

Apple brought a glossy black finish this year on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus calling it ‘Jet Black’. The company had explained that they had to create a new nine-step process to achieve the high-gloss finish. It looks shiny and classy too. While a lot of Apple fans were astonished by it, the excitement was short lived as this particular version was prone to scratches and there were availability issues as well. Even Apple agreed and advised consumers to put a case to protect it. Bummer.
We heard that Samsung would bring a similar finish on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Now we have a confirmation that the company is indeed working on a highly glossy black finish that will arrive on its flagship range. According to some leaked images, we can see that smartphones get a fresh coat of paint which could be called ‘Piano Black’. While the S7 and the S7 Edge already come in a Black Onyx version, the new colour variant will be a darker, have more gloss and have black trims all around.A special Blue Coral version of the S7 and S7 Edge was also announced recently, which made debut on the dead-on-arrival Galaxy Note 7. The new blue version is shipping in certain regions, however the it is nowhere to be seen in India. The company had also announced a special Olympics Edition of the S7 Edge as well as a special edition Batman inspired verison of the smartphone.

Google Glass to develop ‘virtual testing’ model for detecting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s early

Russian scientists are using Google Glass to develop a new “virtual testing” model that may help doctors to identify Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other brain disorders at an early stage.

The model will help identify an individual’s predisposition to certain brain diseases at an early stage and may even be used for testing children who are five years of age and older, researchers said.

Scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Siberian State Medical University used Google Glass to study how healthy people and patients with various diseases react to virtual reality.

During the experiment, the doctors analysed the participants’ movements in virtual reality provided by a Google Glass headset, an optical display in the form of eyeglasses, ‘RBTH Daily’ reported.

“They evaluated the condition of the muscles (EMG), the brain (EEG) and the vestibular system. There is a difference between the vestibular system’s reaction in healthy people and that in sick people,” said Ivan Tolmachev, one of the model’s developers.

The test was conducted on 70 people: 30 healthy individuals, 20 Parkinson’s patients and 20 people suffering
from sclerosis.

In the next stage, the researchers plan to develop an industrial sample of the virtual model, which would mean
creating a certain type of software.

Tolmachev estimates the cost of development to be 1.8 million rubles (USD 27,500).

The muscles of our robot overlords will be made of nylon

Artificial muscles are used in a bunch of industries - from robotics to aviation. But the exotic materials used in their construction are both expensive and difficult to source.

Now, engineers at MIT have come up with an alternative that's cheap, ubiquitous and effective - nylon fibre. And with it, they've designed one of the simplest and low-cost artificial muscle systems yet.

The work was underpinned by a peculiar property that nylon exhibits - that when the fibre is heated, it shrinks in length but expands in diameter. As a result, if you just heat one side then it'll bend. Using this knowledge, the team carefully compressed fibres so that their cross section was square rather than circular, to accentuate the bending effect. 

They were then able to generate complex motions by changing the direction of the heating - getting the fibres to move in circles and figure-eight patterns. Much more complex movement patterns could also be generated, the team said.


It lasts, too. Existing systems made of shape-memory alloys only manage about 1,000 cycles before losing their ability to contract, but a nylon system can maintain its performance up to at least 100,000 cycles. It can also bend and retract up to 17 times per second.

Beyond powering robot muscles, the system could be used to make clothes that adjust to your body, make self-lacing shoes, or biomedical devices. Down the line, it could even lead to vehicles that change shape to adjust to changes in wind speed or solar panels that automatically keep themselves aimed at the sun. 

Andrew Taberner, a bioengineer at the University of Auckland who was not involved in the research, said that the findings were "exciting and game-changing". “One can imagine many applications for this type of actuator in the medical and instrumentation fields," he added. "I expect that this work will become highly cited."

Crucial’s MX300 750GB SSD has been slashed to half price

Are you mulling over a potential move to an SSD? If it's a 2.5-inch solid-state drive you're after, then Amazon has quite a bargain with a 750GB offering from Crucial which has been slashed to just £106.

The MX300 750GB SATA 2.5-inch SSD (with 9.5 mm adapter) is Amazon's best-selling internal SSD.

Normally, this 3D NAND-toting drive would run to £212, so with this offer on Black Friday you're getting the SSD for half price; a tempter indeed.

Buy the Crucial MX300 750GB from Amazon here
Particularly seeing as this represents a good-sized chunk of solid-state storage for the money - the big problem with the move away from a traditional spinning disk being securing a replacement drive with a decent capacity, without burning too big a hole in the wallet.

Crucial speeds

Want some stats on the MX300? It's manufacturer-rated with sequential read and write speeds of up to 530 MB/s and 510 MB/s respectively, with random read and write speeds of up to 92k and 83k.

This drive is also friendly to your laptop's battery, as it sips 0.075W of power, and also boasts adaptive thermal protection tech to help your system stay cool.

The MX300 also comes with some bundled software including Crucial Storage Executive, which uses caching to speed up the drive, and the company claims it can boost performance by up to 10 times.

This Windows app makes the best case yet for the Surface Dial

Microsoft's new Surface Dial debuted alongside the Surface Studio last month. While it's available as a separate accessory for $99, less than 20 apps support it out of the box. Some of those apps just offer basic zoom and volume controls, but there are a couple that stand out. Sketchable includes various radial menus for drawing controls, and now Drawboard looks like the best case yet for the Dial.

Drawboard, a PDF markup app, is adding support for Microsoft's Surface Dial in an upcoming app update. It's designed as an app to manage drawings and documents, with support for touch and ink to leave annotations for colleagues or friends. A number of architects and engineers use Drawboard, and the company is making use of the Dial to bring a virtual protractor and ruler to the app. As the Dial reports its angle, architects will be able to set angles for drawing annotations or even set the grid overlays with the Dial.

Drawboard details the new features in a promotional video for Microsoft's Surface channel on YouTube, and they certainly look impressive. Microsoft is allowing developers to extend the use of the Dial in their applications, and it's apps like Drawboard and Sketchable that show the potential of the Surface Dial. Just like StaffPad with the Surface Pen, Microsoft will need many more apps to lead the way in showing why this new hardware could be useful for creatives, engineers, architects, and other professionals.

Nokia's canceled smartwatch appears in leaked video

Nokia had been working on a smartwatch, codenamed Moonraker, which came close to launching alongside its Lumia 930 handset back in 2014. After Microsoft acquired Nokia's phone business, the company canceled any plans for the smartwatch and proceeded with its own Microsoft Band hardware. Images of the Moonraker watch appeared two years ago, and now a new video appears to show the canceled smartwatch in action.

Nokibar on YouTube shows some basic functions of the smartwatch, with a swipe-based user interface to navigate between apps and features. There's a button for switching between the app interface and the default watch face, and the watch appears to support long presses on the display just like an Apple Watch or Android Wear devices. Nokia was also planning to support email, calendar, messaging, notifications, and other basic apps on the device.

The video is a fascinating look at what could have been, and it follows the cancelation of Microsoft's Band hardware. Microsoft had been working on a Band 3 device, and that wearable leaked in new images last month. Microsoft appears to have given up on its plans for wearables running Windows 10, as the company shifts its focus towards its strengths in PC and universal apps for VR and AR headsets.

Microsoft cuts top Xbox One games by 40 percent in Black Friday deals

Microsoft is unveiling its Black Friday deals for the Xbox One today. New Xbox One games like Battlefield 1, FIFA 17, Titanfall 2, and even Overwatch are all being discounted by up to 40 percent. Battlefield is available for $40.19 until November 28th, and FIFA 17 and Titanfall 2 are just $35.99 if you have Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft is even making it easy to get the deals by offering a month of Xbox Live Gold membership for just $1.

There are also some impressive deals on older titles like GTA V, or Xbox 360 games like Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty: Black Ops. All of Microsoft’s Black Friday deals are available for Xbox Live Gold members today digitally (or November 22nd without Gold), and will run until November 28th. You can find all of Microsoft’s Xbox Black Friday deals over at, or a full list at Major Nelson’s site.

4K Netflix arrives on Windows 10, but probably not for your PC

Netflix 4K streaming is finally heading to Windows PCs this week. While a number of TVs and set-top-boxes already support 4K Netflix streams, the PC has largely been left out of the high-quality streams due to piracy fears. Netflix is now supporting 4K streaming through Microsoft's Edge browser, but you'll need a new PC to actually make use of it. Netflix is only supporting 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core processors, and there aren't many laptops that actually support both the 4K display required and the new Intel processors.

As a result, Microsoft is using the 4K Netflix support as a marketing effort for its Edge browser and to encourage people to upgrade their hardware to watch new episodes of the Gilmore Girls. It all might seem like a bit of a con, but it's largely the fault of DRM requirements from Hollywood studios and TV networks. Content providers have strict controls for 4K playback, so that streams can't be captured and redistributed illegally.

The latest hardware decryption features simply aren't available on older Intel processors, and the new Kaby Lake chips now support 10-bit HEVC, a popular 4K video codec. So if you don't have a new PC, you'll have to wait until you need a hardware upgrade before you'll be watching Netflix in 4K. Or, just buy a streaming stick like the Chromecast Ultra or the latest Roku to take advantage of Netflix in 4K.

Microsoft offers EU an Outlook deal to secure LinkedIn acquisition

Microsoft has reportedly offered concessions to the European Union to try and secure approval of its $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has offered to allow rivals to access Outlook add-ins to display profiles from social networking sites other than LinkedIn. Microsoft is also reportedly allowing PC makers like Dell and HP to disable a LinkedIn shortcut that’s packaged on the desktop of some machines.

Microsoft originally released its social connector for Outlook as a separate add-on around seven years ago, allowing Facebook, LinkedIn, and Windows Live contact integration into Outlook. The connector is now built into recent copies of Outlook, and it largely serves as a way to integrate LinkedIn data. It’s this data that is at the center of the European Union’s antitrust approval, and it's a key part of Microsoft's acquisition.

Salesforce also tried to acquire LinkedIn, but ultimately failed. Salesforce has been publicly pushing regulators to block Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal as a result, fearing the ability for a rival to have access to a vast dataset of users. Salesforce claims that if it had acquired LinkedIn it would “have used the data within our own services appropriately and also licensed it to others,” but that “the chances of Microsoft doing the same without government intervention are slim.” Microsoft’s concessions don’t appear to address the data and metadata concerns, so it will be up to regulators to now decide whether Microsoft is offering enough to rivals.

The best Black Friday 2016 laptop deals: Surface Books, MacBooks, HP Spectre x360, Dell XPS 13, and more

Here’s the bad news about Black Friday laptop deals this year: the new MacBook Pro isn’t on sale (surprise!). Sorry. However, I do have some good news. There are pretty decent markdowns on the Surface Book, as well as on the reliable Dell XPS 13. Yay! And Apple is offering gift cards up to $150 with the purchase of select laptops. We compiled some of the biggest Black Friday deals here for you to check out. Maybe this is the year to treat yourself to a new laptop.

The best laptop to buy on Black Friday

Costco’s deal on the Dell XPS 13 is our pick for the best laptop deal. The Verge’s own Tom Warren called it the “best Windows laptop,” and while it’s still expensive at $1,299, that $300 discount helps. We can’t complain about saving money.

Our runner-up is the Surface Pro 4 because it’s $500 off, which is just an insanely good deal. That said, it’s an older device so not top of the line.


Online or in Apple stores on November 25th

$150 gift cards when buying a MacBook (from $1,299), MacBook Pro 13-inch or 15-inch (from $1,299; no late-2016 models are included so that means no TouchBar), MacBook Air (from $999), iMac (from $1,099), or Mac Pro ($2,999)
Gift cards up to $100 when buying an iPad Pro (from $599), iPad Air 2 (from $399), or iPad mini 4 (from $399)
Best Buy

Online from November 24th through November 26th, with physical store doors opening on Thanksgiving day at 5PM

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (128GB, Intel Core m3) with Type Cover for $599.99 (usually $999.99)
Lenovo Yoga 900 (Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for $699.99 (usually $1,199.99)
HP Envy x360 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $699.99 (usually $899.99)
Microsoft Surface Books for up to $400 off
ASUS Q534UX (4K display, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, GTX 950M, 2.5TB HDD) for $1,099 (usually $1,599.99)
HP Spectre x360 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) for $999.99 (usually $1,499.99)

Thursday online and Friday in-store or pickup

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for $799.99 (usually $999)
HP Pavilion 15 (Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $499 (usually $779.99)
HP Pavilion 14 (Intel Core i5 Processor, 12 GB RAM, 1 TB for $389.99 (usually $639.99)
Lenovo Flex 4 (Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for $499.99 (usually $749.99)

Starting Friday at 9AM through Monday, November 28th

Dell XPS 13 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD with one year of Office 365) for $300 off (usually $1,599)
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 bundle with Surface Pen and Type Cover for $250 off

Black Friday only

Samsung Chromebook 3 for $119 (usually $149.99)

Available online in Microsoft’s online store at 12:01AM ET on Black Friday

Surface Pro 4 (Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD, included Type Cover) for $999 (usually $1,428)
Surface Pro 4 (Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD) for $799 (usually $999)
Surface Book (Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD) for $1,499 (usually $1,899)
Dell Inspiron 15 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $399 (usually $749)
Alienware 15 Touch (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 970M) for $1,497 (usually $2,499)

Available from Black Friday through Monday November 28th

HP Spectre x360 13t OLED touch for $999.99 (usually $1,499.99)
HP Spectre x360 13t touch for $949.99 (usually $1,049.99)
HP Spectre 13t for $969.99 (usually $1,169.99)
HP Pavilion Laptop 15z touch optional for $319.99 (usually $579.99)
HP ENVY 15t Touch for $649.99 (usually $949.99)

Available now

Inspiron 11 3000 for $329.99 (usually $369.99)
Inspiron 13 5000 for $479.99 (usually $549.99)
Inspiron 17 5000 for $549.99 (usually $649.99)
Inspiron 15 5000 for $849.99 (usually $899.99)
Inspiron 15 7000 for $899.99 (usually $999.99)

Available now through Saturday November 26th

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 (Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 16GB SSD) for $499.99 (usually $599.99)
Asus K501UW-NB72 (Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, GeForce GTX 960M) for $719 (usually $999)
Gigabyte P55Wv6-NE2 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 128BG SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060) for $1,149 (usually $1,499)
MSI GL62 6QF-627 (Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M) for $799 (usually $999)
MSI GL62 6QF-1445 (Intel Core i7, 12GB RAM, 128GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M) for $849 (usually $999)
HP 250 G5 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for $419.99 (usually $599.99)
Acer Aspire E 15 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $419.99 (usually $599.99)
Acer Aspire E5-575G-728Q (Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD) for $669.99 (usually $699.99)
(Affiliate links are automatically generated by our partner, Skimlinks. For more information, see our ethics policy.)

Google perpetuates cycle of confusion, renames Google Cast back to Chromecast

Google appears to be removing the Google Cast name and switching it back to the original Chromecast moniker. As noted by Android Police, Google has already renamed the @GoogleCast Twitter account back to @Chromecast, and the Google Cast website now describes Google Cast as “Chromecast built-in.”

The Google Cast name was originally introduced when Google began expanding Chromecasting to other devices; earlier this year, Google renamed the Chromecast app to a matching “Google Cast” name. The name change was a nod to the fact that there were now lots of non-Chromecast products out there that had Casting built in, a decision that seemed to make sense at the time.

This cheap fitness watch has GPS tracking and an always-on display

Huami is now selling its Amazfit Pace smartwatch in the US, a product that was previously only available in China, where Huami is based. The GPS-equipped Amazfit Pace tracks daily activity and calories burned, along with running distances, speed, and cadence. It tracks elevation, which some fitness-focused smartwatches don’t do, and has optical heart rate sensors. Huami claims it gets up to 11 days of battery life on a single charge, despite its always-on, transflective display, and 36 hours of battery life with continuous GPS-tracking.

And, like every other smartwatch, it wirelessly pairs with your phone over Bluetooth to show you incoming phone calls, texts, and app notifications. It’s running on customer software built on top of Android, and syncs with both iOS and Android phones.It’s hard to judge the Pace’s looks without seeing and feeling the watch in person, but the round-faced, ceramic-bezeled smartwatch looks like it has at least some style to it; TheNextWeb even went as far as calling it “gorgeous.”

The Huami Pace costs $129 now through Cyber Monday (November 28th), and then jumps up to $159. That’s cheaper than a lot of smart fitness watches, but not less expensive than basic activity trackers. It’s currently sold through the company’s own website, and will be sold on Amazon starting mid-December.

These stickers have a unique fingerprint, so you can unlock your phone with your gloves on

The cold and bitter winds of winter are here, which means one important thing: it’s glove season! Gloves are a marvelous creation, except for the part where they make it impossible to use a touchscreen device that requires a fingerprint. This nifty sticker, TAPS, provides a unique fingerprint that may be able to ease your woes.

TAPS, funded on Kickstarter, is Touch ID compatible and waterproof; each sticker promises a one-of-a-kind fingerprint, even if they come from the same pack. They’re made with an “extremely adhesive conductive material” that stick to your gloves. This means that rather than buying a pair of gloves specifically made for touchscreens, you can add compatibility to those you already own.

Telegram launches Telegraph, an anonymous blogging platform

Telegram now has a blogging platform to go along with its popular messaging app. It’s called Telegraph and, according to VentureBeat, offers fast publishing and anonymous posting — without requiring you to register an account or sign in through social media.


The app’s user interface looks very similar to Medium and allows for easy embeds. You can also embed images from your computer by clicking on the camera button. In comparison to Medium, the loading time for embeds is relatively fast. Publication is instantaneous upon hitting “publish.” Posts are shareable on social media platforms but are designed to work best on Telegram’s new Instant View layout, which works similarly to Facebook’s Instant Articles feature.
The simplicity and speed of Telegraph are not without its downsides. As TechCrunch points out, the lack of user history means that if you accidentally delete the link to your published post, it would be very difficult to track down unless you have cookies enabled on your browser. The anonymous nature also opens up opportunities for abuse, potentially paving the way for internet trolls and spreaders of fake news — a problem that has put tech giants like Facebook and Google under scrutiny.

Telegram’s user base has grown significantly since its inception, though it continues to lag behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In February this year, founder Pavel Durov announced that the company hit 100 million active users.

The introduction of Telegraph continues Telegram’s expansion beyond just messaging. The company recently added games, and in a blog post, it teased “Something big is brewing in our secret dungeons. Stay tuned.”

This Majora’s Mask fan film is better than most Hollywood video game adaptations

As far as adaptations go, The Legend of Zelda peaked with a questionable cartoon. We’re still holding out hope for a live-action show on Netflix at some point. But absolutely nothing has made us fall harder in love with a reimagining of the iconic video game series than this animated fan film based on The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

The short was created by Ember Lab, a company focused on animation, VFX, and games for commercial projects. The company that draws inspiration from the likes of Pixar and Hayao Miyazaki, and it shows. “Majora’s Mask — Terrible Fate” is animated with all the care and detail you’d expect from a beloved kid’s movie like Toy Story or Finding Nemo, and one wonders if this is an unsolicited audition for a professional project. It’s not unheard of; Dan Trachtenberg would eventually go on to direct 10 Cloverfield Lane, but it was the short Portal: No Escape that initially shot him to fame.

Ember Lab’s YouTube channel calls the clip a labor of love, one that imagines how the Zelda universe might be imagined in film. I think the succinct answer is “very well.”

Someone spent over four years and $1,000 building the perfect keyboard click-testing machine

So you like clicky keyboards. If that’s the case, you probably have a favorite model (or switch type) — maybe, for example, the one my colleague Paul Miller recently dubbed “the clickiest keyboard of all time.” But Deskthority forum member and mechanical keyboard expert HaaTa reminds us that these pronouncements are a fool’s errand, for there is no way a mere human could really, objectively judge the nature of a click.

For that, you would need something like the Force Curve Gauge, a fairly remarkable side project that HaaTa lays out in detail. As the name suggests, it’s a jury-rigged device that measures force curve — the relationship between the distance of a keypress and the force it transfers, or to we users, how much tactile feedback we get while hitting keys. So instead of describing whether a keyboard feels good or bad, you can point to something like this:

The catch is that coming up with any kind of consistent, meaningful data requires serious precision and solid equipment. Just one of the pieces, the force gauge stand, apparently cost about $1,000, and setting the entire machine up took a substantial amount of tinkering — the picture above is from an early prototype. You’re probably not going to buy your next keyboard based on a force graph, but if your co-workers complain about the clicking, maybe you can point to one to explain just why you love it.